Fall Prevention: 6 Simple Tips to Prevent Falls

Fall Prevention: 6 Simple Tips to Prevent Falls

As your loved one gets older, fall prevention is a crucial topic to think about. As they get older, physical changes, health issues, and occasionally the medications used to address those issues increase their risk of falling. In fact, falls rank first among the injuries that older persons sustain and often leads to further complications that can substantially impact your loved one’s quality of life.Β 

Consider some simple tips and changes you can make to help prevent slips and falls for your loved one, to keep them healthy.

Consult a healthcare professional

Initially, schedule a consultation with their doctor. The doctor may want to discuss the following with you in order to determine your risk of falling and suggest fall prevention techniques:

  • Medication. List all of their prescription, over-the-counter, and dietary supplements on a sheet of paper or bring them to the appointment. You can reduce fall risk by having your healthcare practitioner examine the medications for interactions and adverse effects. The doctor may think about weaning them off of those that make them sleepy or impair their thinking, such as sedatives, antihistamines, and some types of antidepressants
  • Any falls in the past. Note the specifics, including the time, place, and manner of the fall. Prepare yourself to talk about times when they were on the verge of falling but managed to catch someone's hand or grab anything just in time. These kinds of specifics could aid the doctor in identifying certain fall prevention techniques.
  • Health conditions. Their risk of falling may be increased by specific eye and ear conditions. Think about whether they experience dizziness, joint discomfort, shortness of breath, or numbness in their feet and legs while walking. Also, consider how comfortable they feel when they walk. The health care practitioner might also assess their gait (the way they walk), balance, and muscle strength.

Continue to move

Physical activity can help with fall prevention. Consider walking, water workouts, or tai chi β€” a gentle exercise that involves slow and graceful dance-like movements β€” with their doctor's approval. These activities help to improve strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility, which reduces the risk of falling.

Inform their health care provider if they avoid physical activity because they are afraid it will increase their chances of falling. The provider may advise them to participate in carefully monitored exercise programs or refer them to a physical therapist. The physical therapist can design a personalized exercise programme to improve balance, flexibility, and muscle strength.

Appropriate footwear

As part of the fall prevention strategy, think about changing their footwear. Slipping, stumbling, and falling can occur when wearing high heels, floppy slippers, or shoes with slick soles. Walking in socks can also be harmful. Instead, equip them with shoes that are properly fitted, sturdy, flat, and have nonskid soles. Shoes that are comfortable may also help to alleviate joint pain.

Geri Fashions carries a variety of adaptive and Velcro-closure shoes and slippers for men and women. The large Velcro fasteners allow adaptive slippers to open wider than a traditional slipper so that the individual's foot may be placed inside with minimal effort. Adaptive slippers provide protection while still being comfortable to wear. Our men's and women's adaptive slippers are great for both indoor and outdoor use as they have a hard rubber sole that makes them easy to walk in.

Remove any potential hazards in their home

Examine their surroundings for potential fall hazards. To make the home more secure:

  • Clear walkways of boxes, newspapers, electrical cords, and phone cords.
  • Move or remove small furniture items in high-traffic areas, such as coffee tables, magazine racks, and plant stands.
  • Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks, or a slip-resistant backing β€” or remove them entirely.
  • Repair any loose wooden floorboards and carpeting as soon as possible.
  • Clothing, dishes, food, and other necessities should be kept within easy reach.
  • Clean up any spilled liquids, grease, or food right away.
  • Nonslip mats should be used in the bathtub or shower. Utilize a bath seat to allow you to sit while showering.
  • Clean up electrical cords from out of walkways.

Illuminate the living space

Keep the home well-lit to avoid tripping over objects that are difficult to see.

  • Install night lights in the bedroom, bathroom, and corridors.
  • Place a lamp near their bed in case they need to get out of bed in the middle of the night.
  • Clear paths to light switches that are not close to room entrances. Consider replacing standard switches with glow-in-the-dark or illuminated switches.
  • Before going up or down the stairs, turn on the lights, or consider installing motion-sensor lighting.

Make use of assistive devices

To keep them stable, the doctor may advise them to use a cane or walker. Other assistive devices can also be beneficial. For example:

  • Stairway handrails on both sides
  • A toilet seat that is elevated or has armrests
  • Shower or bathtub grab bars
  • A strong plastic shower or tub seat, as well as a hand-held shower nozzle for bathing while sitting.

Making a few small changes around your loved one’s home can make a big difference in avoiding slips and falls at home.

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